Capturing Street Photography at The Barbican in London
What started as a simple street photography walk through the area evolved into a study of light and lines. The Barbican showcases the brilliance of Brutalist Architecture and how buildings can seem to have the ability to bend light to coincide with the space and meander around gracefully, enveloping objects in a way that seemed powerful and subtle all at once.
With the arrival of my new Sony 35mm f1.8 I felt the immediate urge to head out for some street photography to give it a little run for its money. I decided to head over to what I consider one of the best street photography locations in London. The Barbican. I couldn’t wait to check out the amazing brutalist architecture this location has to offer.I had no idea that I was missing out on so much. The space and the architecture of the Barbican is unreal, inundated with geometric lines and pockets of light that give you so many opportunities to take photos.
Using the Sony 35mm f1.8 for Street Photography
I’ve been using Sony gear for commercial photography for just over a year and the love affair is now in full force. It took a while, I won’t deny that. Those over-elaborate menus still give me a headache. But the reality of it is that the Sony A7iii is an exceptionally capable camera with a lightning-fast, and accurate focus system.
In the absence of the much-awaited Sony 35mm f1.8, I’ve been using the f2.8 version which I believe to be a brilliant lens in most circumstances. Where it falls short is very dark settings results in you having to push the ISO of the camera to compensate for the f2.8 aperture. Luckily, however, the Sony performs so well in low light scenarios that make this lens still very useful for street/travel photography. The next option to combat the low light issue would be the monster that is the Sony 35mm f1.4. However, for street photography, in particular, this lens is way too big.
So how does it perform compared to the Sony 35mm f2.8?
Unsurprisingly, it performs just as you’d expect from a Sony lens. It’s very sharp and the focus is really quick. The size of the lens is really comfortable and helps balance the camera well, much like the Sony 55mm f1.8. For street photography, the lens performs brilliantly, but in fairness where you don’t need that extra stop of light, I’d probably opt for the f2.8 version just to keep the camera smaller and more inconspicuous.
So am I ready to sell my f2.8? Well I’d be sad to see it go. It’s a beast and has served me so well. For commercial photography, it might be surplus to requirements for now. But for street and travel photography it’s the perfect size and can also serve really well as a backup lens incase I have an issue with the f1.8 version, which will now become my primary lens for documentary and reportage photography projects.
Our Street Photography Projects
As well as exploring the nuances of London, our Street photography has taken us to various places around the world. The intrigue of the unknown has given us the opportunity to capture photos in the most remote villages of Cambodia to the bustling city of Berlin.